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Health and Wellness

Planning a pregnancy? 7 tips for you!

Swati Nitin Gupta
Pregnancy

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Planning a pregnancy 7 tips for you

As prospective parents we all want our baby to be fit and healthy. But what we tend to forget is that to give birth to a healthy child, parents, in fact, especially mothers, need to be healthy. We spoke to three different gynaecologists who have pointed out seven health precautions couples need to take before they plan to conceive.

1. Pre-Conception Counselling

Pre-conception counselling is quite important. As it is in this counselling the lifestyle history (smoking, alcohol, etc.) and also medical history (any genetic or hereditary problem) will be checked. According to Dr Sadhna Singhal, Senior Consultant Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Sri Balaji Action Medical Institute, the couple who are planning a baby should take precautions as per their doctor’s guidelines.

It will keep you and your foetus healthy in present and in future also. In addition, if there is any health problem either with wife or husband, it can be detected and treated before the pregnancy is planned. Dr Singhal further emphasises on the importance of pre-conception counselling by saying, “It generally includes a pre-conception risk assessment for any potential complications of pregnancy, as well as modifications of risk factors, such as increasing folic acid intake to reduce the risk of neural tube defects and counselling on smoking cessation, alcohol reduction, and medications that may compromise foetal development.”

2. Consult a gynaecologist

After a pre-conception counselling, you must consult a gynaecologist. Yes, it is right that you will be going for a pre-conception counselling with a gynaecologist.  However, it is important to select one gynaecologist, who will be able to help and guide you from the time you conceive to the time you deliver.

This is reiterated by Dr Madhu Goel, Senior consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Fortis LA Femme, "The woman who is planning to conceive must consult a gynaecologist wherein she will have her weight, blood pressure and some blood tests like haemoglobin, blood sugar, thyroid, and rubella status checked. These tests are essential because if she needs any corrective measures, she can have them done before she conceives.”

3. Avoid junk food

Diet is another thing that is of prime importance. Yes, even during the time when you are just in the planning stage. As Dr. Ruby Sehra HOD of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Sri Balaji Action Medical Institute says, “Diet during the time couples are trying to conceive should be healthy diet, which may include fruits, vegetables, home-made food. Parents at any cost must avoid junk food while they are planning for a baby, during pregnancy and even after to raise a healthy child.”

4. Folic Acid

You must have heard it from your friends or mothers or mothers-in-laws about the importance of folic acid. Here’s what our expert, Dr Sehra has to say about the importance of folic acid in the to-be-mothers’ diet. “Folic acid is imperative for ladies and moms-to-be during their pregnancy, as it helps in preventing birth defects of your baby's brain and spinal cord. You are advised to take it every day. You may also take a bowl of fortified cereal as well,” advises Dr Sehra.

5. Proteins

Apart from folic acid, proteins are another important food item to be included in your diet while you are planning for a baby and also during your pregnancy. As Dr Sehra says, “High quality proteins in your diet are important for fertility. Make sure you’re getting a complete protein that has all the essential amino acids. Whole eggs or just egg whites are excellent sources, as are white meat poultry, and fish.” For vegetarian couples, options can include whole grains, breads, cereals, vegetables, fruits, legumes, soy products, non-dairy milks, nuts, seeds, and wheat germ.”

6. PCOs and other issues

PCOs or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is a multi-organ involved condition that is created due to hormonal imbalances in women. As Dr Goel says,” There is no cure for PCOs and it needs to be managed to prevent problems. The measure by which you can tackle it includes working towards a healthy BMI, adopt a low Glycemic Load Diet (Glycemic load (GL) is a measure of the effect on blood glucose level after carbohydrates are consumed), take multivitamin, up your Vitamin D, take Fatty Acid Supplement, keep magnesium and chromium levels high".

7. Other precautions

Apart from these health precautions, there are other precautions as well that a couple needs to take to ensure they have a healthy pregnancy and deliver a healthy baby.

  • Stop contraceptives: It is advisable to stop any contraceptive method you are using from the moment if you decide to start a family or at least a month before.
  • Cut back on partying: Yes, if you want a baby this is a small sacrifice. So cut back on your partying and alcohol as well.
  • Limit caffeine intake: There is no study to show how much caffeine is bad for your baby and how it affects your fertility; hence it is advisable to limit its intake to two small cups a day.
  • De-stress yourself: Learn to let go of your worries and laugh out loud. A stressed body and mind are not the favourable grounds for conceiving.

 

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soorya s kumar

| Jun 13, 2017

j . 8

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Laura

| May 26, 2016

You should consult your doctor for this. That is the safest way to consult for concerns like this.

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raj nandani

| May 24, 2016

plz advise

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raj nandani

| May 23, 2016

hello doc... i m hving 15mnth old baby. and again i think i gt conceive recently. we doesn't want baby now. plz advise safe way. thnx

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Swati Gupta

| Apr 25, 2016

Hi Kuntal, how old is your baby?

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Swati Gupta

| Apr 25, 2016

Hi Anoop, Folic Acid is necessary for mothers-to-be for a healthy development of the baby. So answering your question no it is not necessary for men. Hope this answers your question.

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Anoop Kanojia

| Apr 25, 2016

thanks these points are very good, because we are planning of another baby. but I ask you one thing folic acid is essential for man also before planning baby?

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kuntal shah

| Apr 22, 2016

My baby is too thin can u suggest some thing and also she keeps on crying full day

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kuntal shah

| Apr 22, 2016

My baby is too thin can u suggest some thing and also she keeps on crying full day

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Laura

| Apr 20, 2016

A good guide for all mothers

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Shikha Batra

| Apr 19, 2016

A utilitarian guide for women who wants to conceive! Thanks for sharing Swati!

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Canisha Kapoor

| Apr 19, 2016

Useful tips Swati! I am planning a second pregnancy and these tips will come handy.

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Tanisha Khanna

| Apr 19, 2016

Hi Swati quite useful tips. Thank you!

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